. here to talk about the program and how it is involved in these discussions, negotiations over america's financial future is stephen joining us from the associated press where he is a reporter. thank you for being here. how many people in america received social security and how much do they get? >> 56 million people get social security and the average benefit is a little over 12,000, a little over $1,200 a month. so maybe 13, $14,000 a year. >> we are talking about retirees come also the disabled. >> there are actually a fairly wide group of people that social security benefits, retired workers, espouses, children, disabled workers, widows it is actually a fairly big social safety net of people who get the social security benefits. >> you mentioned 56 million beneficiaries those retirees receive $1,200 on average. the benefits for disabled, $1,100 on average. also the benefit supplemental security income about $500 a month. how does it get paid for? how does the social security debt-financed? >> it's been a self funded program since its inception and it is funded by the payroll taxes.